CTIA: Verizon's Harrobin: "Stop the hype!"

Verizon Wireless’ VP of Advertising and Digital Media, John Harrobin, sat down with co-Fierce editor Lynnette Luna and me to discuss the carrier’s CTIA announcements and other general trends in the mobile content industry. “Stop the hype! Stop the hype!” he yelled at us, as we lobbed a few questions about mobile advertising his way. “Look we’re in mobile ad trials with top brands and advertisers, and we’re taking a methodical view. That’s the reason we don’t have Jamster-like experiences and the reason why we have the lowest FCC complaints…We want to protect the consumer experience as the rest of the industry gets caught up in its own speak. We’re looking to protect the consumer and the brands.” Our talk with John was very refreshing and struck a very different tone from most other chats I’ve had with carrier execs. “What would it take for me to invest in mobile advertising? That’s the question I ask myself—the three things to consider are scale, cost effectiveness and efficiency.” The consideration of scalability includes the frequency of ads that consumers will tolerate, the size of the ads and the placement of the ads. “We can’t repeat the mistakes of the Internet with pop-ups and spam etc.…We’re looking to get the right model, the one that consumers accept and that brands benefit the most from, because this is ours to build and shape and mold.” -Brian